The mission of Adventist Community Services (ACS) is “To serve the poor and hurting in Christ’s name.” Moved with His compassion, Community Services gives God glory when serving their community needs. Lives of those serving and for those being served are changed for eternity! This is frontline gospel ministry. Meeting the many needs of people is an ever increasing point of service. A wide range of services are provided by churches and individual members in the Carolinas.
Community Service (CS) Centers
We now have 32 active Community Service centers in the Carolina Conference. Some of these provide food and/or clothing. Others provide services free to the public or at a minimal charge, which allows the poor to retain their dignity when they purchase what they need. Many of our churches get food on a weekly basis or provide other forms of assistance to those in need, such as clothing, travel expenses, help with power or heating bills, firewood, or even furniture to house fire victims. Some churches go to homes or public places to deliver assistance while others keep hours at their CS center on a regular basis, usually weekly.
Whether provided by a large CS center or a small one, CS ministry is personal. Individual needs are met one at a time with the love of God. Many churches may have one or two members meeting needs and helping, while some churches have staffed programs and facilities that offer a wide range of services. These include food for homeless or transient folks, counseling, medication, prayer and encouragement, job training, tutoring, shoes for underprivileged children, health fairs, food boxes to homes, food baskets at Thanksgiving and Christmas, and gifts for orphans. The list of ministries in our conference goes on and on, and depends on the needs of their community.
The Community Service (CS) ministry of the Carolina Conference is grouped into six geographic regions called Federations, and each has its own elected officers who help organize and run the area meetings. This regional leadership provides fellowship, practical direction, spiritual encouragement, inspiration, beneficial resources, training and development. Every church in the conference is asked to annually contribute 75 cents per member to the CS Federation fund. These monies are used to operate the Federation program as well as provide information, conference-wide training and small grants to churches for new CS projects. The Carolina Conference CS Federations are Catawba Valley, East Palmetto Northeastern Shores, Piedmont, Skyland and West Palmetto.
The annual spring CS Rally at Nosoca provides specific seminars and workshops intended to train and equip CS leaders from our local churches. The Federation leadership make this weekend memorable by connecting like-minded servants of God with others who have the same passion to serve and share His love with their communities.
Adventist Community Services Disaster Response (ACSDR) is one of our primary partnerships in ministry, with Phil Rosburg as outgoing director. This partnership provides resources to CS centers from the ACSDR warehouse during times of crisis, and when resources are available, during other times of need in the community. This invaluable partnership was very active when Hurricane Florence hit our coastal area as well as during the COVID-19 pandemic. ACSDR serves on the CS Board as well as the regional Federation Board. The Carolina CS full board meets annually and includes leadership from God’s Closet, 2Serve and Senior Care ministries. Other partnerships are with Adventist World Aviation, International Critical Incident Stress Foundation for training certification, NAD ACS and Urban Ministry, NAD Spiritual and Emotional Care training, Adventist Development Relief Agency (ADRA), and Young Warriors - Mentorship.
No Greater Joy and Passion
There is no greater joy than serving Christ through serving a person in need. CS pleases God by sharing His love for all people! True compassion requires action. Songwriter Oscar Hammerstein II wrote, “Love in your heart wasn’t put there to stay—love isn’t love till you give it away.” The world is hurting and needs to feel the love of God in our churches. The promise of Jesus is sure to those serving Him,
“‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me’’ Matthew 25:34-36, NKJV.
Community Services is moved with the same compassion that moved Jesus. Thank you for supporting and loving your community!